9K11 & 9K14 Malyutka - Anti-tank missile

Antitank guided missiles 9M14M Maljutka (NATO AT-3 sagger) and BVP M-80


Malyutka 9K11 (NATO: AT-3 sagger) is first guided Soviet antitank missile intended for the infantry. One of the most popular rockets in the world is used in many countries of the world. During the 1960s and 1970s produced some 25,000 rockets. 9K11 Malyutka being produced in at least five countries under license.

Russian anti-tank missile AT-3 Sagger


Development began in July 1961 with the government assigning the project to two design teams: Tula and Kolomna. The requirements were:

Vehicle mountable and/or man portable
Range of 3,000 meters
Armor penetration of 200 millimeters at 60°
Weight at most 10 kilograms

A 9S415 control box for the Malyutka missile


The designs were based on the western ATGMs of the 1950s, such as the French ENTAC and the Swiss Cobra. In the end, the prototype developed by the Kolomna Machine Design Bureau, who were also responsible for the AT-1 Snapper, was chosen. Initial tests were completed by 20 December 1962, and the missile was accepted for service on 16 September 1963.

JNA Maljutka during the siege of Dubrovnik


The missile can be fired from a portable antitank launching kit (polka) or armored vehicles such as BMP-1 and BMP-2, and the like helicopters Mi-2, Mi-8, Mi-24, Falcon Gazelle. A rocket to the finish line is controlled by a small joystick (9S415), which requires basic training for operators. Command operator to transfer projects to help mikrokabela when firing rockets immediately lifted up so as not to sing for the soil or vegetation. The rocket during flight has 8.5 turns per second, the movements performed by using gyroscopes when shooting targets up to 1000 m the operator can steer a rocket to the naked eye, while for targets outside this range benefits periscope 9Sh16 that performs magnification 8 times.

Serbian-made modified Malyutka wire-guided anti-tank missile on display at Partner 2009 military fair


While early estimates of the missile hitting the target ranged from 60 to 90%, experience has shown that it can drop to an efficiency between 2 and 25% in case of less than optimal conditions and lack of skill from the operator. In fact, MCLOS requires considerable skill on the part of the operator: according to some sources, it takes 2,300 simulated firings to become proficient with the missile as well as 50 to 60 simulated firings a week to maintain the skill level.[citation needed] Nevertheless, the weapon has always been quite popular with its operators and has enjoyed a constant updating effort both in the Soviet Union/Russia and in other countries.

The turret of a BMP-1 with a 9M14M missile


The two most serious defects of the original weapon system are its minimum range of between 500 and 800 m (targets that are closer cannot be effectively engaged) and the amount of time it takes the slow moving missile to reach maximum range—around 30 seconds—giving the intended target time to take appropriate action, either by retreating behind an obstacle, laying down a smokescreen, or by returning fire on the operator.

Map with 9M14 operators in blue and former operators in red



Later versions of the missile addressed these problems by implementing the much easier to use SACLOS guidance system, as well as upgrading the propulsion system to increase the average flight speed. The latest updates sport tandem warheads or probes in order to counteract explosive reactive armor as well as thermal imaging systems. Even in this latest version, the Malyutka is probably the most inexpensive ATGM in service, with unitary price caps in the order of the hundreds of dollars instead of the tens of thousands of the latest third generation models.

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